WARREN – Besides passing a $1.7 million budget Tuesday, town meeting voters adopted drug-free zones at locations throughout town where children are at play or learning.
The so-called drug-free safe zones include the town’s athletic field, three churches, seven day care operations, two parks, two schools and the public library.
Signs will be posted on these properties and anyone caught selling drugs within 1,000 feet of these safety zones may be prosecuted for more serious “aggravated” offenses.
In the $1,791,692 annual budget approved by voters, the fire chief’s position was essentially made full time. The chief will be paid a $600 salary per week or $31,200 annually based on a 40-hour week. Three days are to be spent working at the fire station and the remainder of time mowing town-owned properties, except for cemeteries. In winter, the chief is to help out public works.
The only item changed by voters was to reduce the park reserve account from $5,000 to $3,000, Town Manager Grant Watmough said Wednesday.
In approving the budget, town employees received an across-the-board 6 percent pay raise.
At the polls Monday, two longtime incumbents were ousted by two newcomers.
Selectman Arnold Hill was beat by Christine Wakely by a 102-89 vote. Selectman Rick Parent lost to Wayne Luce by a 102-88 vote.
Incumbent SAD 40 directors Nancy Watson and Theodore Brown, who both ran unopposed, won three-year and one-year terms, respectively. Also unopposed were Warren Sanitary District trustees Clayton Winchenbach and Ed Courtenay, who won three-year terms.